My discovery of Rangiroa
By Scotty Pass
Connected by the essence of Mana, the fundamental spirit to embrace, The Islands of Tahiti are bound to leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and most of all, even more connected than ever before. Unlike any other place on Earth, The Islands of Tahiti seem to have an energy that flows from its people and culture and beyond to the diverse range of landscapes. Nowhere else on the planet will you get to experience such a varied range of landscapes and activities that are bound to have you coming back time and time again. The essence of Mana is certainly prominent on the island of Rangiroa. We witnessed the friendly nature of the locals, raw beauty of the lagoon and appreciated the specialised training, commitment and tradition involved in the regions pearl farming whilst visiting the atoll - All intertwined by Mana. Here's my visual guide to exploring Rangiroa - The largest atoll in the Tuamotus.
Located only a short ten minute drive from Rangiroa airport is the accommodation of Le Relais de Josephine. These French inspired beach bungalows are one of a kind, pairing French class with a touch of Polynesian beach-side living. The accommodation is situated directly on the Tiputa Pass, giving visitors the opportunity to observe the dolphins riding the waves of the pass. Experience a quintessential French meal cooked by your host and watch the sunset over Rangiroa. The beauty of this guest accommodation is the opportunity to mingle with like minded travellers in a relaxed environment.
Le Relais de Josephine provides its guests with bicycles, making it an easy way to navigate this end of the atoll. Ride down toward the Kia Ora resort and you’ll discover your very own, secluded coconut grove that backs right on to the Rangiroa lagoon. This garden of swaying coconut palms is bound to have you easing your way into the island lifestyle of Tahiti in no time.
Only a short cycle from Le Relais de Josephine is the Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa. Hugely popular as an accommodation option for divers visiting the region, Kia Ora Resort boasts 60 rooms - both garden and over water bungalows. The premises is perfectly manicured and set among tropical palms, backing right onto the Rangiroa lagoon. If you're searching for an accommodation option that goes above and beyond, coupled with just the right touch of Polynesian culture, the Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa is definitely worth a look.
TIPUTA PASS, FRENCH POLYNESIA
Admire one of the most incredible shifts in tidal movements in the South Pacific at the Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa. Widely recognised as one of the best dive locations in the world, The Tiputa Pass is home to one of the greatest concentrations of pelagic species of marine life. Many species of fish, sharks, rays and dolphins can all be found in this one, single location - all coexisting.
If you're lucky enough, visiting the Tiputa Pass often results in regular dolphin sightings. When there's a shift in the incoming tide, the dolphins can be seen jumping and 'surfing' the waves of the Tiputa Pass in large numbers. This is definitely a must see at sunrise or sunset. With multiple dive locations in such a condensed space, the Tiputa Pass is one of the most visited locations on Rangiroa.
BP 191, AVATORU 98775
If you're interested in learning a little more about how pearls are cultured, why not take a free guided tour through Gauguin's Pearl Farm. The informative half hour presentation shows visitors the process involved in one of French Polynesia's biggest exports - Black Pearls. Perfectly situated on the Rangiroa Lagoon, Gauguin's Pearl Farm allows visitors to observe the full grafting process of black pearls and walk through the outdoor workstations, all while enjoying the most incredible view of the lagoon.
AVATORU, FRENCH POLYNESIA
If you're not shy on the old exercise front, grab a bike and cycle toward the main town on the Atoll - Avatoru. You'll make multiple crossings over pristine waterways and channels that connect each mini atoll of Rangiroa, all while enjoying the stretches of beachfront perfection. The entire atoll is lined with palms and white sand, so you'll be sure to find the perfect location to pull up and take a break.